Separate Merit List For Girls In IIT Admissions To Ensure 14 Percent Representation, Directs HRD

| January 14 , 2018 , 12:58 IST

In an attempt to increase the number of girls in the renowned Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) the human resource development (HRD) ministry has directed that from the 2018-2019 academic session, separate merit lists for girls be prepared to ensure that 14 percent of students admitted to each campus are women.

According to reports, a "separate vertical" for girls will be published depending on the percentage of women that have secured admission through the common merit list. However, the number of girls to be admitted will be "supernumerary" meaning that the number of boys admitted will not be affected by the 14 percent of girls. By 2026, the government plans to increase female representation on the IIT campuses to 20 percent of the total number of students.

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The directive issued to the IITs after consultations with the law ministry has drawn protests for "the introduction of gender reservation in IIT without calling it by that name".

A senior IIT official was quoted as saying, "The MHRD instruction, asking for a separate merit list for girls, actually introduces reservation for girls without calling it that."

Many officials felt that by introducing a girls-only merit list and conducting admissions based on it, less meritorious students may gain admission at the expense of boys that have done better.

"This will also put more pressure on IITs, who will now have to arrange for more bridge-course or remedial classes for students getting through to IITs just because we want a pre-determined percentage of girls on the campus," an IIT teacher said.

Due to the HRD directive, all 23 IITs (including the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad) will now have to increase the number of seats with all existing reservations being applied proportionately for the extra seats.

The specific number of extra students that would be admitted in each IIT will be based on the number of admissions the respective IIT had granted to boys in 2017.